Ragweed is a weed found in the Midwestern and eastern states that grow in open grass fields, along river banks, near roadsides and vacant lots. Ragweed grows in very warm climates and the season for allergy sufferers occurs from July through the end of October.
Ragweed belongs to the sunflower family and the pollens released from flowers will scatter around with the flow of air. They are very light and travel far distances and allergy to the plant is rampant in places even if there are no plants around.
Pollen of ragweed is harmless for a normal person, but some people are very sensitive and their immune system reacts instantly when inhaling pollen and triggers the manifestation of the allergic symptoms.
Allergy to the pollen can affect anyone from children to adult and males or females are equally affected. People who are allergic experience symptoms such as asthma and sinusitis. To learn to recognize and manage allergies including ragweed allergy, register for a first aid course with a credible Canadian provider near you.
Symptoms of ragweed allergy
- Runny nose and sneezing.
- Burning, red and watery eyes.
- Itchiness in the upper palate, eyes and nose
- Inflammation of nasal sinuses along with a scratchy sensation and irritation in the nose.
- Dry cough that can be accompanied by wheezing
- An elevated temperature and there is loss of sense of taste and smell.
- People who are very sensitive develop itchiness over the skin and contact dermatitis when in contact with ragweed. People who are hypersensitive to proteins found in ragweed have symptoms such as itchiness, rash, blisters and wheals. These symptoms heal after a few days.
Treatment and home remedies for ragweed allergy
- Provide a decongestant if he/she is suffering from a stuffy and blocked nose
- Wear a mask when going out in areas known to have abundant ragweed pollen
- Utilize an efficient particulate air filter
- Install a humidifier that can keep ragweed pollen away from the rooms.
- Avoid taking a walk outside the house especially in the morning when the levels of ragweed pollen in the air is high.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in order to improve the immunity of the body.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages since they can make the condition worse.
Preventing ragweed allergy
Avoiding pollen from being inhaled is an important step in preventing flare ups. During seasons of abundant ragweed pollen, use a HEPA vacuum and air purifier in order to remove pollen of ragweed that might enter the house. Stay indoors during the high season of ragweed pollen and close the windows.
Avoid foods and herbs that contain proteins that are similar to ragweed pollen that can cause symptoms similar to ragweed allergy such as bananas, cantaloupes, cucumbers, chamomile, honeydew melons, watermelons and zucchini.